Farewell Brooklyn, a Bushwick bar, restaurant and events venue on 143 Troutman Street, in Bushwick, was robbed early on Monday morning. The masked burglar was caught on camera breaking in through the front window at at 6:45 am.
The bar opened about two years ago — as soon as outdoor seating was permitted in New York City after the COVID-19 lockdown— and is subleasing a fraction of the space to Gunther’s Café, a breakfast, soup and sandwiches shop set to open next month. Property from both businesses was stolen.
The robber broke through a padlock, a roll-down gate, window locks and smashed a glass window in plain daylight. In just about four minutes, they took about $400 dollars in cash from the bar’s register, liquor bottles, entire point of sales-systems, speakers and an iPad from Gunther’s and took off.
Last February, New York City saw an increase in every major index crime category from the year before, according to an official statement from the New York Police Department. In Brooklyn, statistics show an increase in robberies of about 55 percent since February 2021.
“People were walking around for work and this person started breaking in through a window,” said Farewell’s owner, Daniel Teran. “I just want to make sure that everybody knows there’s somebody going around robbing places and that, if anybody knows this person, let us know. It was one person and I think it is desperation acting out.”
Other businesses in the area have also been broken into recently. Three people robbed Cafe Moca on Central Avenue last January. Their espresso machine, worth $12,000 dollars was taken. A Chinese restaurant nearby was robbed too.
“We are still feeling the effects from the break in financially and emotionally,” said the staff at Cafe Moca, in a message to Brooklyn Paper. “Especially when only two months have past and we find out our neighboring business was robbed. Hard to sleep at night knowing it could happen again.”
Teran says police have been “on point” running the investigation, and told him they will analyze the video and look for fingerprints in case the burglar was not wearing gloves.
The business owner, who owns five other restaurants and bars across New York has been robbed before, he said. Millie’s Cuban Café, also in Bushwick, was broken into during the city’s lockdown in 2020. After being in the neighborhood for 12 years, Teran says he “would still give our neighborhood a great rating.”
The bar often hosts live DJ sets and drag shows. After dealing with tension from neighbors raising noise complaints around closing time and having the police patrolling regularly, Teran says things have turned around and the community has reached out to show support since the robbery occurred.
A patron of both Farewell and Gunther’s has started a GoFundMe raising over $1,300 dollars to make up for the damages and stolen items. Teran estimates repairing and replacing what was lost will cost roughly $2,000. Both business owners say they’ll donate any exceeding funds to charity.
Farewell is insured, but the Teran said going that route would be more inconvenient.
“It was a loss,” he said. “Fortunately, we just pick up our heads, we fix everything, and we do our thing. We want to open for one of our fun nights.”
Farewell opened on Tuesday night to host their weekly trivia event. Sarah Khoshaba, owner of Gunther’s, said her business is still on track to open in mid-April.